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To Love Myself? Saturday September 3, 2016

The concept of loving myself has felt uncomfortable to me on all sorts of levels.

For very many years the very suggestion threw me into a deeply sad confusion. "I don't even know what that means!".

It's understandable that if I didn't feel loved by my main carer as a child that the concept feels a bit alien. For me that's probably something that needs to be worked on. Letting go feels like abandonment.

I also find it very difficult to take on board the idea that one can't be loved without first loving oneself. A bit harsh isn't it?

Loving oneself also felt a little like vanity and in a very English way, it was easier for me to be modest and self critical, I've had to work on that.

I'm sure though that it means something very different.

I thought that maybe it's about being kind to myself. I might as well, after all I don't see queues of peeps offering! (Except of course there are many on Moodscope! :))

Yes, number one has to be looking after my health. For me it's finding enjoyable or pleasurable ways of doing that. If it feels like a chore or a punishment, it ain't happening!

Looking for ways to enjoy the small gifts that life has to offer. Thankfully I am now able to see them often.

Being mindful when repetitive worries start to take over my brain, man that's exhausting!

Accepting how I look and who I am, a work in progress, I admire people who say that they are comfortable in their own skin!

Refraining from being self critical.

Allowing myself to feel how I feel without being hard on myself about it.

Recognising that I feel stuck and asking for help.

Facing a dilemma or decision where my heart and logic come up with conflicting courses of action (or inaction).

I came across a really helpful question that helps me with this a few months ago. "What would you do if you loved yourself?". I liked that. No pressure to say whether or not I love myself, just imagining for a moment that I do, frees up the blockage and allows me to think of possibilities.

Maybe you can think of others?

Maybe the concept of loving ones self means something different to you?

What would you do today if you loved yourself?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Andrew Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 6:38am

Wow. Just wow. Every now and again I read a blog on here that I feel was written just for me! This is one, and for that, I thank you Lillypet.

Soon after my marriage of 22 plus years broke down irretrievably and I found myself living alone, I fell into a disasterous relationship which was far too soon and yet in my mind the answer to all my problems. It didn't last. And I felt worse than ever. In the words of that old ode, I felt "nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I'm going to eat some worms".... In a parting gesture, I was given a small book entitled "When I loved myself enough" is a marvellous collection of reflections, simple one or two sentence reminders of how loving oneself makes this life, our lives, so much easier to, well, live with I guess!

One of my favourites, and you touched upon this above, is this:
"When I loved myself enough, I learned to meet my own needs and quit calling it selfish"

Thank you for a great blog. I have now dug out that book from my bookcase and will keep it to hand. I think it deserves a re-read. It's by a Kim McMillen by the way in case anyone else out there is interested...
Go well Lillypet ...

Brum Mum Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 3:05pm

As I am about to end my relationship, both you and LP's comments are so helpful. Thank you.

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 9:15pm

Hi Andrew...thnk I'm going to have to buy this book and see what I can glean and use from the 'when I loved myself' state of mind...hope you find the one - Bear hugs to you xx

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 9:19pm

Hi Brum Mum...hoping you can get through the awful break up, knowing you are doing what is right for you....and that's the important part - you cannot live someone else's life for them. Such a horrid time but know we here, with you on the new episode of your journey! Bear x

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 1:59pm

You're very welcome Andrew, I'm so glad it remined you to go back to that book which I and a few others will also get hold of. All the best, LPxx

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 2:11pm

I what occurs to me, BM is that perhaps by ending it you are loving yourself. Being true to myself even when it isn't easy, feels right. All the very best. LPxx

Belinda Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 6:52am

Hi Lillipet,
Me to a tee, too, except I was geatly loved as a baby at times, & not at others. I am able to love others at times, but not myself when I am down. (I suspect that was the experience of the caregiver too.
Maybe that is why I instantly felt a connection to you, as you were the first person to answer me when I dared to leave a comment.
It was loving & I was greatful.

What would I do if I loved myself? Perhaps stop saying I should do this or that.
For example,I now, think instead of buying flowers for others & not myself. I have now looked for ways to include them in my weekly budget,( while still giving to others).

I also try to see what I have achieved, & attempt to ignore look at all the things I haven't.
Another thing is to look at what I am thinking about, & realise when I am thinking negative thoughts.
Like looking for the tiny bit of blue sky, when most of the sky is cloudy.
It is now becoming more spontaneous.

I'm finding it hard to inject humour, which you did so naturally. (Another part of the work in progress for me)

Thank you Lillipet. They have put into words things I had seen in myself but not put the words too.

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 2:06pm

I'm so glad to have made that connection with you Belinda, both in your first comment and this blog. I liked your examples, which have got me thinking about what the small positives might be when faced with trying situations. Take care, LP xx

Orangeblossom Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 7:16am

Thanks Lillipet, your blog struck a strong chord for me today. I have had periods of deep self-doubt when loving myself seems alien. However, as Belinda has said, and Andrew implied, it is a work in progress. Growing to accept myself is a continuous process.

Orangeblossom Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 7:16am

Thanks Lillipet, your blog struck a strong chord for me today. I have had periods of deep self-doubt when loving myself seems alien. However, as Belinda has said, and Andrew implied, it is a work in progress. Growing to accept myself is a continuous process.

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 2:13pm

Hi Orange blossom, yes and it feels good for us all to be on such a positive journey together. LPxx

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 8:10am

Mmmm....lists, lists and more lists! What would I do or say to me if I loved me today?
Off on doggit walk, for an hour or two so will contemplate and get back to you...thanks Lillypet...thoughtful blog ;)
Bear xxxx

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 2:18pm

My pleasure Bearness and Doggit! LP ;)

Angela Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 9:10am

This has really spoken to me Lp. For years I hadn't a clue how to love myself as I hated myself so much, now very gradually and slowly I'm learning self care whichhopefully leads onto loving myself. :) xx

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 9:07pm

That's the way to do it, Angela...self care! Sometimes, I think we get hung up on the labels: self love; self care; care less? Bearx

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 2:26pm

Hi Angela, it's a tricky one and I've started in the same way. Maybe I can see that there are parts of myself that are loveable and that none of us are perfect. Giving ourselves a break might be another way too. LPxx

DAVE Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 9:12am

Hi Lillipet,
You're good, no different to anyone else, equal in the sight of Him above.

To love yourself in a humble way, is mindful, to love your looks in a egotistical way, that could become vanity.

To like what you do attracts self confidence.

To dislike what you do, needs an inner awareness and an incite to how other people view you, before starting to improve the way you treat others.

Generally, in England, praise is very scarce, (my experience of Americans is quite the opposite, to me they've been genuinely appreciative), but if we treat others well, kind , considerate, and courteous they will respond with a thank you, or a smile, or some word of encouragement, which if recognised, gives us the incentive to continue in that way, on condition we DO NOT expect any response, that way we don't get disappointed, but when they do respond to our kindness, it's like manner from heaven.

Consistent kindness in these traits above, attracts enlightenment, revealing to us that we're good people, when we think, say and do the right thing in life, happiness and peace enter the heart, life becomes sweet, and at that point we forget 'ourselves', suddenly we have time on our hands and get lost in the real beauty around us.

Also intelligence is not based upon degrees at Uni or letters following our names, (NEVER forget the person next to you was the person sitting in your classroom in junior school), intelligence is an ability to cope with all that is presented to us each day, and how we deal with it.

All the decisions we make each day in life, attract different consequences, over which, we have no control......But what what we do have, when in control is the CHOICE to make good, kind, loving and considerate actions, the outcome is always an ongoing acceleration of our spiritual growth.

What we can't see is where this life, in this positive vain will lead us.

So if we, for the purposes of gaining more control over our thoughts, forget the past....don't look in the rear view mirror of life, and don't look too far ahead, (apart from planning), but consentrate on the 'NOW', our individual lives become more manageable and less stressful, as we look to those around us, (once we're in control), and offer help, which attracts to our persona, the necessary CONTROL of our thoughts and actions.

The ability to discern between those who use or abuse our kindness, and those who respond to our love for them, (which is always in the majority) helps us to understand those who haven't learnt to give. It is those who really stand in need of our love.

How do you think this attitude could help you love yourself ?

What a nice lady you are to express your thoughts to us who also struggle too.


Anonymous Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 11:05am

Hi Dave, Although it brought tears to my eyes, your considered response to Lillypet's blog, and definition of 'self-love', is hugely appreciated. Thank you for a top tip; I shall refrain from looking 'in the rear view mirror of life...and concentrate on the 'now'. Go well.

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 2:42pm

Hi Dave, Being kind, honest and keeping it simple ( was it you who mentioned these recently?) will help me to feel good about myself. I am generally a kind person, but I struggle with the tiny minority of individuals who seem to bring out the worst in me. Wanting to avoid them but not being able to. The question for me to answer is my own! What would I do if Inloved myself? Or what would I say to one of my children if they had to deal with the same individuals? When I find answers that I can live with I will have taken a big step forward. Thank you for your thoughtful response Dave. LP :)

Anne Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 9:29am

Hi Lilly,

to love myself is a hughe and sometimes hard task for me. Sometimes I ignore my needs or forget over them. For example today I postponned to put on socks for my cold feet, such a simple thing which brings enourmeous comfort. For the needs thing I often use the image of a small child: How would I take care for a small child? So it's easier for me.

Thank you very much for your post and have a nice day.


Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 9:12pm

Oh heck, Anne...such simple things are the stuff of life...I'm always thinking....if I just put socks on id be warmer quicker, or...if I changed the duvet to the winter one, we would sleep better and for longer...but we put up with the difficulties sometimes and I'm not sure why! It would be so easy to go and fetch a pair of socks and as soon as our toesies were warm we'd be soooooo glad we did why wait? What holds us back on such a simple thing? We would never let a small child go without anything...but we do it to ourselves??? No logic! But am a Bearofliddlebrain - so that's my excuse!!! Bear hugs xx

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 2:53pm

Hi Anne, Yes me too! I have often put the demands of work and needs of my children before my own needs and well being. Being aware is great because it's a positive thing that I want to do for myself and I have hope that in small ways, like Belinda's flowers, I can make small adjustments so that I am as important, if not more so. Thank you for your lovely reply, LPxx

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 3:00pm

Hey Bear, yes why do we put up as if we don't matter? For me although it's a negative way to go about things, I think I have tried to avoid being judged or criticised and priorotised being "good" over myself. Not an easy balance to master. Love LPxx

Tychi's Mum Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 9:52am

Thanks Lillypet for a really thought provoking blog this morning.

I love the idea of "What would you do if you loved yourself?"
I'm going to adopt that as one of my mantras for life alongside "Living and learning" and "Life's an experiment...give it a go."

Thanks also to Andrew for the reminder of Karen McMillen's lovely little book. A friend once lent me a copy but I'm now inspired to buy a copy of my very own.

Wishing you all a good weekend.

Tychi's Mum.

Andrew Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 10:12am

You're welcome... It really is a little treasure of a book. And if I loved myself a little better, I'd read and follow its advice more often. Starting today... :-)

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 3:05pm

Hi TM, I'm glad you like it and you've been reminded of that book too. I liked your other mantras too. LP :)

Anonymous Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 11:15am

Hi Lillypet,
The first thing a therapist asked me was whether I loved myself and like you, I wondered what she meant and felt massively uncomfortable with the concept. Your blog, for which many thanks, reassures me to know that I am not alone. It is helpful of you to highlight particular areas where we can make a difference. Gents, please don't feel left out! I recently decided to apply moisturiser after showering, which always seemed shockingly indulgent. I now understand that it is part of self-love, rather than self-absorption, and self-care rather than mere pampering. Go well.

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 3:11pm

You're welcome Anonymous. That's a good example, easy to skip moisturising, but an important self care routine! All these things add up to loving ones self. LP :)

Dee Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 11:43am

Thank you - very timely for me as I am really struggling to stop listening to my ego and seeking new ways to be, separating my thoughts from my divine self, thank you so much. I have a right to be here - like the trees and the stars - quote from Desiderata always helps too.

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 3:18pm

I'm glad it helps Dee. Yes, I like that too, we are all indeed a part of the universe. LP :)

Dee Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 11:44am

Thank you - very timely for me as I am really struggling to stop listening to my ego and seeking new ways to be, separating my thoughts from my divine self, thank you so much. I have a right to be here - like the trees and the stars - quote from Desiderata always helps too.

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 9:20pm

Your new name should be Deesiderata :) bear x

Dee Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 2:11pm

Thank you Bear what a feeling of love your message gave me - Dee x

Dee Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 2:11pm

Thank you Bear what a feeling of love your message gave me - Dee x

The Gardener Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 11:57am

I cannot love myself - my mother's words 'you're too big for your boots' have set up a tape in my head. This morning - Mr G - what are we doing today - me, I have a house to look after. So he sits. Such a beautiful day - decided on drink in square - wheel-chair over cobbles - met pals - welcomed - could not get wheelchair in shade - moved it, me and some cafe furniture - then he was cold (ha!) and wanted his coat fetched, immediately. So, me is not lovely, raging, bitter. As we sat - met Polish men, found work, bought bike, cheaper than fuel for car (needs transport for harvesting work) speaks very good English. Then a couple on a tandem. She, very short, very handicapped - they had BOTH made the effort, tandem designed to her needs - and they were enjoying the Breton countryside - the rage is because Mr G, even pre Alzheimer has just waited for me to do everything, I DO know what I am like underneath - love myself? Difficult concept. If I LET myself, I can look round and be proud of what I have done, what I am doing - but raging fury that such a perfect day should be totally spoiled. Will take myself off and continue with a Neville Shute, 'The Chequered Board', does anybody read him now? 'A Town like alice' made a huge stir - but his books have depth - search for equilibrium.Anonymous, any advice vis a vis your therapist?

Belinda Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 12:41pm

Dear Gardener I wish I was closer & I would bring you a drink.... relieve you of Mr G for a while,...... admire all that you had done.... and assuage the rage & bitterness which you are experiencing (I feel a little of this too). I wish I could do more than write. I will pray, if that's ok? Love xx

Leah Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 10:25pm

Gardener I have a whole shelf full of little Chute books in my shop. not so popular now but once in a blue moon someone comes and buys one. You write about your Fury and rage and bitterness but all I read is compassion and patience. Lilypet Thanks for a very insightful and thoughtful blog today.

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 3:31pm

You're welcome Leah . LPXx

Jul Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 1:03pm

Dear Lillypet. Before I forget, a huge thank you for your lovely reply to my blog about people watching.I really appreciated your words. I am not sure if I love myself. I've heard it said many many times that we can't love anyone else unless we love ourselves.. I do look after myself and try to look good. I love clothes (maybe more than myself Ha!) But I am not sure I love myself. I love others more than me. I know myself better than anyone else.I think I have confidence most of the time to know I am doing the right thing but I also know that I am quite capable of running ragged to help others, mainly family, and put myself second particularly with younger family members.It's a difficult one as you say. I quite like myself but not sure I love myself. Love Julxxx

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 3:46pm

Hi Jul, neither am I. Care about myself maybe. Perhaps it's connected to our essence. The unique bit that makes us who we are. It may shine at times or falter at others. We may be aware of it to varying degrees and at times lose sight of it, but I believe that it's there, in all of us and is worthy of loving. Maybe it's just a matter of looking. Just an idea. LPxx

The Gardener Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 6:34pm

Re-read blog 'enjoy the small things'. Just been to church - Mr G, having giving me a most miserable day, picked up my hand and kissed it - we were at the front with his wheel-chair - I was so shattered at kindness that I burst into tears. Service mildly chaotic. Our excellent organist - as the leader was about to announce the first hymn launched into another introit - so we all stood and waited. Then lady just about to read second lesson and the angelus bell started all by itself. Sacristan went off to deal with it but apparently you can't stop it in the middle, so it did its full five minutes. Thanks Belinda - just the knowledge that I have kind thoughts everywhere helps - many people here say they pray for me every night - even if one is a bit sceptical the fact that you are in those peoples' thoughts at the end of the day is comforting. This sounds convoluted - Jul and being second to younger family members - but is there not some self-love in the pleasure and satisfaction in doing things particularly with the little ones? When grand-children show a preference for doing things with Granny I see it as flattering, not a duty or a chore.

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 12:26am

TG, Mr G kissing your hand and brining tears to your eyes in church today made my day! Perhaps you can hold on to that moment. When there is distress for both of you, shedding those tears may come back to you, for at those times maybe he knows not what he does. LP xx

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 3:29pm

Ps I hope you don't mind if with love I suggest that your first sentence seems very final and it perhaps needn't be. Your mother's comment may have had a certain amount of impact, I have experienced similar, but does that mean that we must allow that to limit ourselves forever? LP xx

g Sat, Sep 3rd 2016 @ 9:19pm

I have joined Jamie Catto's workshop this weekend as a loving token to myself. I am pleasantly exhausted now so of to bed to get strength for tomorrow - action day.The book is great too.I think that I had mentioned it before...

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 4:05pm

Hi g, I'm glad you treated yourself to that. You've made me realise that although I wrote the blog, I haven't done something similar for myself! I'll enjoy pondering what I can do that isn't expensive or selfindulgent, but would be a loving gift to myself. LP :)

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 12:13am

Hi everyone,
Thank you so much for your replies. I am so glad that I connected with each of you on this. I will most definitely get a copy of that book Andrew, thank you.

Maybe eing a part of Moodscope, in whatever way is something that we do to love ourselves.
Take care All, love, LP xx

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 12:14am

Hi everyone,
Thank you so much for your replies. I am so glad that I connected with each of you on this. I will most definitely get a copy of that book Andrew, thank you.

Maybe eing a part of Moodscope, in whatever way is something that we do to love ourselves.
Take care All, love, LP xx

Mo Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 7:16am

Lovely blog LP... I am going to buy Andrews suggested book.. x

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 3:47pm

Thanks Mo, me too. :)

S Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 9:38am

Hey LP, sorry for the day late reply. Thank you for this- it has given me lots to think about! I too find this notion confusing. I love the way you have explained your growing understanding so clearly and in a light hearted way! What a brilliant question- what would I do if I loved myself - I feel this will help me take action where needed- where I feel like procrastinating - because living myself will be doing the things I need to do, rather than a sgort-sighted 'i don't feel like- I will be kind to myself and not do it's - if that makes sense? Thank you! Sx

LillyPet Sun, Sep 4th 2016 @ 3:50pm

Hi S,
Thanks S. Yes that's a good idea, I'll try that too! I'll do that because I love and care about myself feels much better that groaning about not wanting to do it! LP :)

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